What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

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USA | 2018 | 95 minutes | Rob Garver

Pulsatingly subjective, exhilaratingly assertive, compulsively absorbing, Pauline Kael wrote about movies in a way they'd never been written about before. Director Rob Garver examines her life and legacy as America's most controversial critic.

"Garver's beautifully crafted documentary channels the timeless headiness of Pauline Kael, arguably the greatest film critic who ever lived."—Variety

Loved and loathed in equal measure, Pauline Kael remains a polarizing figure in the world of film criticism. Her passion for cinema, punchy prose, and incisive wit are undeniable, but her writing could often fall victim to crass humor and boorish prejudices. As The New Yorker's resident critic for 25 years, Kael left an indelible influence on American cinematic culture. Yet her own story is one of struggle and obsession: her personal fight, as a woman, to establish her voice and make it heard in a male-dominated industry. She grew up a rancher's daughter in California and came of age in New York City and bohemian Berkeley, both of which shaped the unconventional worldview that would later emerge in her criticism. She famously despised The Sound of Music, which led to her being fired from McCall's magazine, while her review of Bonnie And Clyde transformed it into an instant classic—and then there was her infamous, controversial book-length essay, "Raising Kane," which questioned the authorship of the screenplay for Citizen Kane. Director Rob Garver weaves together Kael's own words contemporary interviews, rare home movies, and scenes from the films she both praised and damned to craft a nuanced, well-balanced portrait, capturing all her glorious charms as well as her infuriating imperfections.

Dan Doody

Director Biography
New York-based filmmaker Rob Garver has written, produced, and directed several short films that have been screened in local New York cinemas and aired on cable television. Films include: Comic Belief, a documentary profile of cartoonist Dan Piraro; The Man In The Yellow Cap, and Two Roads From Belfast, Maine, a short narrative that has aired on the Classic Arts Showcase cable network.

Sponsored by KKNW 1150 AM

  • Director: Rob Garver
  • Principal Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Quentin Tarantino, Camille Paglia, Molly Haskell, David O. Russell, Alec Baldwin, Paul Schrader
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Producer: Rob Garver, Glen Zipper
  • Screenplay: Rob Garver
  • Cinematographers: Vincent C. Ellis
  • Editors: Rob Garver
  • Music: Rick Baitz
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: TBA
  • International Sales: Autlook Filmsales